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Phuket Woman Guides PAD to 'New Politics Party'

Phuket Woman Guides PAD to 'New Politics Party'

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A PHUKET leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy is helping to direct the yellow-shirt movement's new future as a political party.

Aparat Chartchutikumjorn is in Bangkok as one of the 21-member board charting the directions of the New Politics Party (Karn Muang Mai), which won approval today as the name for the old PAD.

Gone is the plain yellow color, much celebrated by many on Phuket and derided by rival red-shirts.

In its place, come yellow plus green. According to Khun Aparat, the yellow stand for ''fairness'' and the green for ''richness.''

The logo has yet to come.

But the fledgling party does have an interim president, Somsak Kosaisuk, a well-known face to those who have seen the yellow-shirt rallies on television.

Eight of the 21 key members of the new-born party are men, leaving women with a substantial majority.

Khun Aparat is proud to be among them.

''The mass public part of the movement's role has come to an end,'' she told Phuketwan today.

The trigger for the PAD to create its own party was the move by the current Government coalition to redraw Thailand's Constitution.

What's more, the rival red-shirts were also putting forward their own ideas.

''So we decided to set up a political party that will give us more power when it comes to the Constitution,'' Khun Aparat said.

Khun Aparat thinks that the new party will be cleaner than other parties because it refuses to accept political funding from outside organisations.

''We will be funded by our members alone,'' she said. ''There will also be an upward limit to the amount that can be donated,'' she said.

''We want to promote good behavior in politics and to encourage that among everyone.''

Khun Aparat is likely to be shuttling between Phuket and Bangkok as the groundswell mass movement adapts to new circumstances and a different approach to politics and power.

New party leader Somsak Kosaisuk was one of the PAD celebrities who came to Phuket for a rally attended by more than 10,000 people in April.

The rally became a ''Salute to Sondhi'' after the best-known of the PAD leaders, Sondhi Limthongkul, was shot in the head in an assassination attempt two days earlier.

Khun Sondhi may yet emerge as the long-term leader, with party members to vote eventually.

Phuket has long been a stronghold for both the PDA and the Democrat Party, which currently leads the Government coalition.

Just what might happen, though, if Phuket people have to choose one or the other at a national poll is not clear.

Needing to take a middle path to draw moderates together from both red and yellow movements, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has spoken of mixing red and yellow into a creative orange melting pot.

Phuket has had an integral role to play in the rise of the yellow-shirt movement.

A three-day PAD-led occupation of Phuket Airport in August last year proved to be a practice run for the more significant invasion of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok in November.

That airport occupation eventually led to the downfall of the political successors of the disgraced former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, giving way to the Democrat-led coalition but at the cost of inflicting immeasurable damage on Thailand's tourism industry.

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Comments

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I like the Yellow Shirts. But today I saw the new logo of the New Politics Party (what a very badly chosen name, anyway) and I think they made a major goof by choosing a very svastika-looking sign. The hands don't save the day and however you turn it around it always will remind people of the infamous german svastika

Regards

Georges

Posted by Georges Walther on June 5, 2009 17:59


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